Verdict on the Health Care Legislation

July 30, 2009

By Padmini Arhant

The health care legislation vigorously contested by the opponents of the economic recovery and the unemployment deterrence. Sometimes, it’s easier to deal with the ‘devil’ you know than the ‘devil’ you don’t. The existing health care crisis contributed by the health care and insurance conglomerate’s profit raking strategy fits in with the metaphor.

When the people strive to make it to the top of the slippery slope titled the sensible health care legislation their harnesses are either tampered with or forcibly pulled off by the groups posing as the ‘rescue guards,’ i.e. the representatives in the House and the Senate obligatory to their financiers – the special interests.

In the interim, the ‘so-called’ bipartisanship in the Senate with some prominent legislators and selective House members from both sides of the aisles holding substantial investments in the health care stocks are focused on safeguarding their investments with assurances to the health industry – ‘your wish shall be my command.’

The House and the Senate version presented thus far is directly contradictory to the populist requirement and the President’s initial plan. The shameful tactic in the twentieth century – apart from paralyzing the health care reform, it’s also instrumental for the status quo and they are indicated in the article below.

Deal with ‘Blue Dogs’ sets up health care vote

Associated Press – 07/29/09

“The House changes, which drew immediate opposition from liberals in the chamber, would reduce the federal subsidies designed to help lower-income families afford insurance, exempt additional businesses from a requirement to offer insurance to their workers and change the terms of a government insurance option.

More problematic from the Democrats’ point of view is a tentative agreement to omit a provision in which the government would sell insurance in competition with private industry. In its place, the group is expected to recommend non-profit cooperatives that could operate at the state, regional or even national level.

Nor is any bipartisan recommendation likely to include a requirement for large businesses to offer insurance to their workers. Instead, they would have a choice between offering coverage or paying a portion of any government subsidy that non-insured employees would receive.”

What is wrong with the classic ‘pro-industry’ proposal to appease the health care enterprise at every insured and uninsured American taxpayer’s peril?

Firstly, the House bill to reduce the federal subsidies designed to help lower-income families afford insurance, instead of demanding the health care system comprising the AMA, health care providers accepting Medicare and Medicaid, Pharmaceuticals, the hospital industry…and the insurance industry mark-down the preposterous profit margins hidden in the superficially inflated costs driving the economy and every citizen to bankruptcy.

If there is any resistance from the groups in this regard, then taxing the expensive insurance coverage ensuring the tax liability on the industry rather than the end-consumer is absolutely necessary. If it was already agreed to by all negotiators then the measure combined with higher taxes on capital expenditures by the industry should adequately cover the increase in federal subsidies to the economically disadvantaged.

The health industry in their defense might argue that the supply and demand market forces drive the costs in a free market system. In this context, the commonly unknown fact being, the health industry unlike other industries are uniquely advantaged to thrive throughout with excessive demand arising from the myriad of sources causing illnesses to a vast population of which an alarming proportion fall in the >‘unhealthy’ category.

In the absence of robust competition from a government provided affordable health care, the industry giants have the expansive field wide open to themselves with a huge demand as the catalyst for the exorbitant profits in products and services.

In addition, the major market-share by the big players lay overcast of monopoly for others to compete effectively with the price factor, notwithstanding the industry protocol on limited choice and coverage of care at disproportionate costs.

The non-profit cooperatives have been recently involved in financial mismanagement as reported in California and severely lack in efficiency, ultimately benefiting the current private care system by default. Therefore, it’s not surprising for the industry groups to lobby for the non-profit cooperatives against the government run program.

The bill doesn’t end there. Ice cream is more delicious when served with toppings.

With respect to the businesses and large corporations exempt from the insurance coverage requirement to their workers and employees, it’s yet another ‘dessert’ moment for the legislators playing gracious hosts to the corporate musketeers.

Obviously, the lawmakers more appropriately the lawbreakers are falling head over heels in their romance with the corporate sponsors by relieving them from the fundamental responsibility to care for their workers and employees with health insurance while leaving the underemployed American workforce to fend for themselves in the profit manifested exclusive private health club.

As for the Blue Dogs, a misnomer to the species iconic for their unflinching loyalty, unequivocally clarify that ‘conservatism’ motto regardless of political factions is to delay, defeat and derail national progress. Clearly, the democratic electorate will be able to overcome the obstacle by replacing the obstructionists with the supportive ones in the 2010 elections.

To summarize, the health care casserole prepared by the House and the Senate in the Congress is palatable to the industry as the primary patrons and the caterer of the special menu. The remaining large starving population having peeked at the menu items forced to fake satisfaction from the aroma of the dish, although meant for the populist but served to win over the mighty health care industrialists.

Seriously, if this health care legislation meant to be a ‘reform’, then the bill must include the public option plan, increased federal subsidies, free health care for the most impoverished and a nondiscretionary business/Corporate health insurance for all workers and employees.

Failing that, it would be a band-aid treatment for a widespread chronic ailment in the industry gorging profits at every opportunity and the ‘so-called’ solution will be a cyclical nightmare for the nation attempting its way out of the quick sand economy.

The proposal funded through compromise from the industry with costs reduction equalizing profit contraction proportionate to market sustainability and tax increases suggested in the earlier House Bill itemized per extraordinary income category is the ideal gateway to true ‘reform.’

Otherwise, under the present deal the ‘weapons of mass destruction’ not found in Iraq would appropriately apply to the millions dependent on the democratic majority controlling all three branches of the government to do the right by the people.

Because the welfare of the people is paramount for the success of corporations in a capitalist or any other economic systems as people are the consumers and workers alias human capital in the economy.

Politically, irrespective of the massive corporate investment earned from the sweat and blood of the workforce, there will be no power without the people’s vote in a democracy.

Again, the health care reform will be truly meaningful and purposeful when the recommended changes addressing the plight of the people are reflected in the lifetime legislative matter.

It’s time for every American to stand up for their rights and claim the authentic universal health coverage favoring them and not the profit oriented health care industry.

Please call your local representatives and the Senators to oblige to your needs and not the special interests. Only you can make it happen this time.

Power is powerless against the will of the people in politics and economics.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant


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